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Southmoreland boys soccer looks to wear down opponents

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Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier
Luke Zeleznik (14) and the Southmoreland boys soccer team have their sights set high in 2012.

Quick facts

• Southmoreland finished 13-4-2, which included a first-round playoff loss to Ringgold last season.

• The Scotties will play at home on Saturday against Elizabeth Forward.

Top high school sports
By Dave Stofcheck
Friday, Sept. 7, 2012, 1:31 a.m.
 

If things play out the way Southmoreland boys soccer coach Chris Fabian expects, the Scotties could put away a lot of teams in the second half of their games this season.

According to Fabian, the Scotties have an advantage because of players such as Josh Dei, Michael Garlowich and Phil Weinman.

All three split time between soccer and cross country, giving them an edge in conditioning.

“We're trying to get back to the way things used to be,” Fabian said. “We have some really smart kids who happen to be two-sport runners. That's going to be our biggest asset. I don't foresee anybody in the section being able to run with these guys. It's going to be a war of attrition, especially on the outside. We're going to wear some teams out and take them out of their game plan.”

Dei is a senior, while Garlowich and Weinman are juniors. The three midfielders could have a huge role in Southmoreland's success this season.

Fabian said in years past he would send one of the midfielders into the attack and keep two back. But he's becoming more aggressive.

“This year, we'll have two attacking and leave one behind,” Fabian said. “I'm looking forward to crashing the net with five, six or seven guys. The nature of our midfielders allows us to do more of that.”

Fabian also expects big things out of senior forward Jacob Ozoroski and senior midfielders Brock Bell, the team captain, and Tyler Fox.

“Jake's really fast. He's one of those guys who rely on their speed to get behind the defense,” Fabian said. “We're going to lean on Brock to be another coach on the field for us. He's a great leader and a real hard worker. He's making the transition from defense. I'm looking for him to put in some goals for us. We don't want to rely on only our strikers. Tyler is very strong on the ball and can stop any counter attacks.”

Junior Brian Shaffer will be in goal.

“Maybe our biggest concern this year is to stay healthy,” Fabian said. “We have some guys who are a little nicked up, but no one is seriously injured. We're not very deep. Once we get past our first few subs, we have a significant drop off.”

Southmoreland will compete in Section 6-AA, along with Brownsville, Charleroi, Laurel Highlands, McGuffey, Uniontown and Waynesburg.

Dave Stofcheck is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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